My husband, Robert, went to meet with IU's liver transplant team last week. I was at my yearly conference in Orlando so I was not able to attend, but he loved his doctor and felt very at ease with the whole appointment. Plans have been made.
They confirmed that Robert is very ill. His liver is extremely diseased and has no ability to regenerate. It is definitely time for a transplant. They told him that if he does not get the transplant, within 2 years he will be gravely ill.
There was lots of talk about the worthiness of him as an organ recipient. That was not only humbling but very interesting. He will be given the gift of life. Due to that, it is imperative that we make sure he is physically healthy in every other way. It would be a waste of a donated liver to give it to someone who is ill in another way. Robert will undergo a plethora of testing to make sure the remainder of his organs are healthy and can sustain life. Tests will be scheduled over the next few weeks for this purpose. They have told us that livers are not in short supply which is fabulous. The donated liver simply must have the same blood type as Robert in order to be used.
Once Robert goes to the committee and he is approved to be an organ recipient, it could be as long as 6 months before the transplant is done. We are still very uncertain as to what will happen, how and when. We are at the mercy of their schedules at IU Med Center. We will be taking a class that will let us know what to expect.
I am very thankful that we have the opportunity to accept a liver from a donor. What a privilege to be given a second chance at life due to someone else's gift! If I am completely honest I am also entirely freaked out. The prospect of someone opening up my husband, removing an important organ and replacing it with another scares me. I know that liver transplants are the most common transplant, but complications still happen. I just need to rest assured that he is in the best hands possible and he will be fine.
The Nielson Family turns 18
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